New Rose Bush

New Rose Bush

Monday, July 25, 2011

July 25, 2011

More and more hot days torment us right now.  Was really thankful for the wonderful weather in May, June and most of July!  Storm finally came through last night, but as a result knocked down part of the fence, scattered branches and killed three meat chickens - or was it the heat?  Anyway, three are gone, now down to 23 from this batch.  They're growing fast and we'll butcher at 8 weeks.  Don't think they can hold on longer than that.  Would like to get the coop in the shade - think it will help greatly.

Harvested 200 pounds of honey this past weekend!  David worked hard to get it all done and cleaned up before the storm hit.  The honey is very dark - maybe from all the clover in the farmer's field next door.  it tastes delicious!

Canned 7 jars of tomatoe sauce this morning, after letting it cook all night in the crockpot.  I love doing it that way - and blending the whole tomatoe with skin and all.,  What ease!  The sauce turned out lovely.  I also cleaned the house and did three loads of laundry, hung it out to dry, and got a zucchini surprise in the crockpot for dinner before it got too hot - around 10:00 a.m.  Still have clothes hanging on the line but that's OK.   Will have to time to pick them and fold them and remake the beds throughout the day.  There is another chance for rain today - sure hope it does.  The more the merrier right now in these "dog days of summer."

Friday, July 22, 2011

July 22, 2011

Summer is here for sure now and it's hot!  Way too hot!  The tomatoes are coming in full force - need to can or freeze every day.  Picking green beans every other day - waiting for the next crop to come in already.  Put in a second crop of tomatoes and looking to start the fall garden.  Just read the book aout gardening year round and want to try it.  Will try with low hoops, but hope to put in a high tunnel to walk in and grow crops - at least cool weather crops all winter without heating it.  Looks fun and interesting.  Don't know if it'll profit us - but will give it a try.

The new icelandic sheep I got, Holly, must have caught her horn int he fence and ripped one off last night.  There's blood all down her side.  She won't let me touch her so there's nothing I can do.  She's acting fine, so we'll hope it grows back because the horns are quite lovely.  The blood is what's disgusting.  hope the flies around her don't cause a problem in this heat.  We'll have to watch over her.

Everything needs water right now - it's very, very dry.  Wish a good rain would come and bless our farm.  Need to water a little over everything - left the sprinkler on last Sunday morning when at church and lost our pump to our house.  It took the rest of the day to replenish and get it working again with a little help from the neighbor!  So for good neighbors.

It's honey extracting day tomorrow!  Hope we get alot.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

July 5, 2011

We've really had alot happen and I havn't kept up like I would like to but here it is in a nutshell:  In the middle of May we had a tonadoe rip through the farm and take down many trees - including an over 100 year old Tulip Poplar that shaded much of the back yard (side yard actually).  The house was fine and we were fine but what a mess.  I lamented over a huge apple tree we lost that was loaded with apples, but found out later it was the worse tree in the orchard - always rotten apples!  It was weeks of cleanup after that with a big group of workers coming from Fluvanna Baptist with chainsaws and lunch provided by Morgan's Baptist.  What a time!

The garden is producing alot.  We've had a bumper crop of zucchini and it's still coming.  Still have a problem with squash bugs everywhere.  I need a better organic spray.  Hope to find one.  The tomatoes and beans are just coming in and lettuce and peas are done - but we got alot.  It was great.  I put in a later field pea and dry peas and beans but not much is coming up because of lack of rain.  I need to get my drip irrigation going.  I found out nothing will make it without irrigation down here.

The rest of our time has been spent on putting up perimeter fencing in the front 4 acre pasture.  We had to cut some trees in the way this past weekend.  Joel has been helping immensely in pounding in the fence posts.  We rented an auger for the wooden posts - but needed to dig every hole even deeper.  Two of the three gates are up in the field.  I can't wait for it to be done.

We lost several chickens to a stupid dog (he's gone) and possums.  We now have a beautiful retired breeding collie - Lancelot - from Blessed Acres Farm.  He's gorgeous and wonderful - takes care of the animals and chases away the deer.  We love him.  Hope he doesn't get killed on the road.  Every once in a while he runs for the old store across the road.  Something is obviously living under there.

Besides Sweet Pea and Lilly, we now have Holly, Rose and Bluebell - three icelandic sheep we got from the Furhmans.  They are beautiful and all getting along well.  We have them int he Premier 1 electric fencing and so far it's working out.

The first batch of meat chickens were a heritage breed I'll never try again.  They were so puny - after 12 weeks of trauma and feeding.  What a disappointment!  The next batch or Cornish Rock meat chickens are in the chicken tractor and have three more weeks to go before butchering.  I'm going to feed them ALOT!  Looking forward to some great chicken on the grill!

Purchased an outside wood stove - a Hardy - this past week to burn all the wood from the storm and hopefully have a warm house this winter.  Looking forward to that!

The flowers are incredible.  Sandy Lane came over two weeks ago and gave me a tour of everything including hibiscus which are blooming right now, sea lavender, indigo, pistachio, another mulberry, smoke tree, mimosa, hops and so much more.  This yard is full of incredible plants that are found only in Botanical Gardens!  What a gem the Lord has given us.  There are many plants to dry and make wreaths with.  I'm dryin lavender and sea lavender right now.  Need to pick the artemesus and more soon.